- Antibiotics kill bad bacteria but also kill the good bacteria
- Diarrhea can be caused by parasites or from viral and bacterial infections
- Seven high quality (human) studies support the use of probiotics
- The effects of probiotics are short lived; give them throughout antibiotic use
- Probiotic products vary widely in dose and quality
- Recommended doses of 5 billion colony forming units-CFU-per day for children and 10 billion CFU for adults (human doses)
- Most probiotics fall into two categories: Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium
- Probiotics come in different genera, species and strains of the same species
- Probiotics are dose specific—different probiotics are effective at different levels.
In a study of acute diarrhea in children a number of products composed of different probiotics showed that only Lactobacillus rhamnosius GG effectively reduced the duration of the diarrhea.
Probiotics considered safe are:
If you decide to use probiotics with a diseased or immuno compromised animal consult a veterinarian beforehand. Some human studies have shown adverse effects of probiotics on certain diseases and immuno compromised humans. However, it indirectly affects the immune system, if not directly, because as Purina’s website states; the GI system contains 70% of the immune system.
Articles about probiotics recommend that if manufactures make claims about their probiotics there should be studies/research to support these claims. But in searching the internet, I found it somewhat daunting to access the research.
When you shop for a probiotics read the label! it should:
-disclose genus, species and strain (this info should help relate back to research that documents the effects)
-list number of live organisms in each dose
-list an expiration date
-levels are typically called CFU’s
-include storage information and contact info
Unlike earlier probiotics on the market, not all probiotics must be refrigerated now. New technology makes it possible to store them at room temperature according to label instructions. Dried and stored properly, probiotics will activate when inside the moist intestinal system.
I have heard from some that one particular brand really worked while another person said they were getting no results. So it sounds like if one doesn’t work, try another, because one does not have a positive effect does not mean another will not. The function of a probiotics can be strain specific.
A google search came up with dozens and dozens of probiotics for dogs.
A few brands I’m familiar with…
Purina Fortiflora It is Enteroccus faecium and claims to promote intestinal health. Purina says it's sold exclusively through veterinarians, but it is also listed on Amazon.com for a cheaper price.
Culturelle is an over the counter probiotic also recommended by vets. It is Lactobacillus GG www.culturelle.com
I use a CVS brand I use as a supplement in their evening meal that seems to have a beneficial effect and is cheaper than the two listed above. I see lots of brands sold at the dog shows, too. Do you use something? Would you share your results and brand?